EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 24 JULY

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS - 24 JULY
24 Jul 2018

EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 24 JULY

Brussels Daily

MAIN NEWS

President Juncker visits Washington, DC, to meet President Trump, discuss transatlantic relations

President Juncker is heading to Washington, DC, where he will be received tomorrow at 13:30 EST (19:30 CET) in the White House by President Donald Trump. Both Presidents will have an open dialogue on issues of interest for EU-US relations, notably trade. Commissioner Malmström will accompany President Juncker. Later in the day, President Juncker will deliver a speech at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) entitled “Transatlantic relations at a crossroads”. The speech is scheduled for 16:00 EST (22:00 CET). It will be broadcast live on EbS.

 

Trade: Commission reports on latest negotiation rounds and proposals with Indonesia and China

As part of its commitment to transparent trade negotiations, the Commission has today published reports from the latest talks towards a trade agreement with Indonesia and an investment agreement with China. The fifth round of negotiations for a trade agreement between the EU and Indonesia took place in Brussels from 9 to 13 July 2018. Discussions were held in a very friendly atmosphere and good progress was made on most chapters. Tariff offers were exchanged before the round and this provided a basis for good discussions. Good progress was made on services and investment, clearing the way towards an exchange of offers in those areas at the next round. Talks also covered details of future arrangements on sustainable development. The Commission has also published today two new text proposals, including on the rules of procedure for state-to-state dispute settlement and on the concept of originating products eligible for future tariff reductions. The sixth round will be held during the week of 15 October in Indonesia. The 18th round of the EU-China investment agreement negotiations took place in Brussels on 12 and 13 July. The discussions covered essentially subjects such as expropriation, national treatment, fair and equitable treatment and sustainable development. The 19th round is tentatively scheduled for 29-30 October in Beijing. The exact agenda and timing are yet to be confirmed.

EU mobilises support following devastating fires in Greece, Sweden and Latvia

The Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre is working 24/7 and is in constant contact with the authorities of Greece, Sweden and Latvia which have all requested EU support following the unprecedented forest fires which are raging across Europe. Following the devastating fires in Greece, President Juncker spoke to President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Tsipras to express his sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims. In a letter to the Prime Minister, President Juncker reiterated that everything will be done to support Greece during these difficult times. Yesterday evening Greece requested EU support through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. In an immediate response, Cyprus, Spain and Bulgaria made swift offers of concrete assistance including planes, firefighters, medics and vehicles. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides is travelling to Athens today and has published a statement with the details of his visit, during which he will meet the Greek civil protection authorities and coordinate the EU’s assistance already on its way. For Sweden, EU support continues with planes, firefighters and vehicles, already operating in the affected areas. For Latvia, the EU’s Copernicus Satellite system has been activated to assist the national authorities with emergency mapping of the risk areas. The Commission will remain in contact with the states participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to provide all possible further assistance. The Commission has proposed to strengthen EU civil protection response through rescEU – so that when multiple disasters hit Member States they are better prepared to confront them. The rescEU proposal is a central part of President Juncker’s agenda for a Europe that protects. Photos and video stockshots of the Emergency Centre are available, as well as a MEMO ‘Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works’.

 

Managing migration: Commission expands on disembarkation and controlled centre concepts

Following the call by EU leaders at the June European Council, the Commission is today expanding on the concept of controlled centres as well as short-term measures that could be taken to improve the processing of migrants being disembarked in the EU, and giving a first outline of the possible way forward for the establishment of regional disembarkation arrangements with third countries. Regional disembarkation arrangements should be seen as working in concert with the development of controlled centres in the EU: together, both concepts should help ensure a truly shared regional responsibility in responding to complex migration challenges. Commissioner Avramopoulos said: “Now more than ever we need common, European solutions on migration. We are ready to support Member States and third countries in better cooperating on disembarkation of those rescued at sea. But for this to work immediately on the ground, we need to be united – not just now, but also in the long run. We need to work towards sustainable solutions.” The non-papers on controlled centres in the EU and regional disembarkation arrangements are available online as well as the full press release and factsheets.

 

Juncker Plan: €15 million for biotech company Jennewein to build new research centre

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €15 million financing agreement with German biotechnology company Jenneweinto build a new research and innovation centre. The deal is guaranteed by the Juncker Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Jenneweinisa highly innovative company that has developed breakthrough technology for the production of rare functional sugars for a wide range of applications, including nutritional, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, said: ”As the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety and a former doctor, I know the positive impact that research and innovation, including in biotechnology, can have on our nutrition and good health, particularly in infants and young children. I am happy to see that the Investment Plan for Europe is really working and boosts research and innovation for the health of EU citizens.” The full press release can be found here.

 

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into KME’s proposed acquisition of competing copper products supplier MKM

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of MKM by KME, under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the merger may reduce competition in the supply of rolled copper products and sanitary copper tubes. KME and MKM are both active in the manufacturing and marketing of copper and copper alloy products, including rolled copper products and copper alloys, and copper tubes (including sanitary copper tubes). Rolled copper products are used as an input in the manufacturing of many products, including electrical transformers, semiconductors, heat exchangers, and roofing materials. Sanitary copper tubes are used in the construction industry for drinking water installations, radiator connections, surface heating and cooling and sanitary gas installations. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 29 November 2018, to carry out an in-depth investigation into the effects of this transaction and determine whether its initial competition concerns are confirmed. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Copper is a key input in many industries including electrical equipment and pipes for heating equipment in our homes. Our investigation aims to ensure that these customers, and ultimately final consumers, will not pay higher prices for this important input, following the proposed acquisition of MKM by KME.” A full press release is available in here

 

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Gemalto by Thales

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Gemalto by Thales under the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission is concerned that the merger could lead to higher prices and reduce choice and innovation for customers of hardware security modules.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Our society is increasingly dependent on data security solutions to secure all sorts of social, commercial or personal information. We are opening this in-depth investigation to ensure that the proposed transaction between Thales and Gemalto would not lead to higher prices or less choice in hardware security modules for customers looking to safely encrypt their data”. More information here

 

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of joint control over HES by Macquarie and Goldman Sachs

The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of joint control over HES International B.V. of the Netherlands by MEIF 5, a wholesale investment fund managed by a subsidiary of Macquarie Group Limited of Australia and funds advised by affiliates of the Goldman Sachs Group of the US. HES operates and develops dry, liquid and break bulk terminals, providing transhipment, storage, blending and processing services for dry and liquid bulk. Macquarie is global provider of banking, financial, advisory, investment and fund management services.Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking, securities and investment management firm. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the limited impact it would have on the market. The transaction was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8896.

MEX/18/4664
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